Jump to content

PhD dropout started edtech/fintech impact startup bringing opportunity to emerging economies


Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

“Why DirectEd?”

By Simon Sällström, CEO and cofounder

I was brought up in a stable and loving family in Sweden. But when I was 15, I had the opportunity to study abroad in China for a year. Questions arose. “What if I was born in China? How can tens of thousands die every day from starvation while tens of thousands die from obesity on this planet? What are the root causes and solutions to all of this?

This became the beginning of a long journey that culminated in me graduating with a masters in economics from the University of Oxford. By now I had a better sense of the vast landscape of suffering, injustice and cheating enabled by an opaque and unfair system. I could also more clearly see the potential of what could be if things were done differently. So I rejected both the PhD and the corporate 9-5 route.

I decided to launch a charity, a sector riddled with issues and hence many opportunities to have an impact. Though most charities are started with the best of intentions, many aren’t and those who are may often fall short in many respects: transparency, cost-efficiency and creating sustainable impact through self-sufficiency. DirectEd Development Foundation to innovate in all of these aspects.

However, we soon realised that the charitable sector couldn’t accommodate the scale and ambition we sought. This is why we, in early 2024, decided to continue as an impact driven company.

About Us

DirectEd Development (DirectEd) is a company delivering training and internships in software development, durable skills and entrepreneurship to high-potential under-resourced students in Africa.

To date

  • 150+ students trained in our three pilot Intro Courses across Kenya and Ethiopia in 2023 year
  • 5-10x higher bootcamp completion rate relative to comparable MOOCs or online courses
  • 10% of the top 0.1% of students in Kenya attend our partner schools! 

Uniqueness

- Guests lecturers with experience from MIT, Oxford, Google, Palantir and mode

- Paid apprenticeships with Western companies for all top graduates 

- Targeting students right after high school

- Income sharing agreements: student pays $0 up front, and shares 20% of their income for set number of years. 


Vision

A platform that enable investors to fund workforce training in emerging economies, and get a percentage of student’s earnings for a number of years once they get a high paying job.

Use cases?
- Addressing the expected shortage of medical doctors and nurse shortage of 18 million globally 

- Addressing the expected flight training pilot shortage

Edited by Simon
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrator
6 minutes ago, Simon said:

“Why DirectEd?”

By Simon Sällström, CEO and cofounder

I was brought up in a stable and loving family in Sweden. But when I was 15, I had the opportunity to study abroad in China for a year. Questions arose. “What if I was born in China? How can tens of thousands die every day from starvation while tens of thousands die from obesity on this planet? What are the root causes and solutions to all of this?

This became the beginning of a long journey that culminated in me graduating with a masters in economics from the University of Oxford. By now I had a better sense of the vast landscape of suffering, injustice and cheating enabled by an opaque and unfair system. I could also more clearly see the potential of what could be if things were done differently. So I rejected both the PhD and the corporate 9-5 route.

I decided to launch a charity, a sector riddled with issues and hence many opportunities to have an impact. Though most charities are started with the best of intentions, many aren’t and those who are may often fall short in many respects: transparency, cost-efficiency and creating sustainable impact through self-sufficiency. DirectEd Development Foundation to innovate in all of these aspects.

However, we soon realised that the charitable sector couldn’t accommodate the scale and ambition we sought. This is why we, in early 2024, decided to continue as an impact driven company.

About Us

DirectEd Development (DirectEd) is a company delivering training and internships in software development, durable skills and entrepreneurship to high-potential under-resourced students in Africa.

To date

  • 150+ students trained in our three pilot Intro Courses across Kenya and Ethiopia in 2023 year
  • 5-10x higher bootcamp completion rate relative to comparable MOOCs or online courses
  • 10% of the top 0.1% of students in Kenya attend our partner schools! 

Uniqueness

- Guests lecturers with experience from MIT, Oxford, Google, Palantir and mode

- Paid apprenticeships with Western companies for all top graduates 

- Targeting students right after high school
 

Love what you do Simon - really good call with you the other day! I'll be looking at the action points this week too. Hope you're well!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, James said:

Love what you do Simon - really good call with you the other day! I'll be looking at the action points this week too. Hope you're well!

Thanks man! 🙂 

I’ll also explore the forum a little bit. 

By the way, I spoke with The Graduate Guide and the entrepreneurship society at the LSE about hosting a joint event on “Top 10 Early Stage Founder Mistakes” around the London Tech Week in June. Maybe we can have you guys as the third community Co-organiser of that?  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrator
10 hours ago, Simon said:

Thanks man! 🙂 

I’ll also explore the forum a little bit. 

By the way, I spoke with The Graduate Guide and the entrepreneurship society at the LSE about hosting a joint event on “Top 10 Early Stage Founder Mistakes” around the London Tech Week in June. Maybe we can have you guys as the third community Co-organiser of that?  

That sounds really interesting! I'll reply to your email now!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Guidelines We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.